What is the #1 problem that most moms that are aspiring writers have?
Yes, that’s correct! We simply just can’t find the time to sit down and write. But, I think that challenge doesn’t lie in not having the time, it lies in our expectations of what a normal writing schedule should look like. The most important thing you can allow yourself as a writer is the freedom to write within your schedule, no matter how short or long that time block is. If you only have time to write for 15 minutes, do that! If your dreams are worth fighting for, you are not going to miss that extra 15 minutes of sleep or the 15 – 30 minutes it takes to put on makeup. You will have to sacrifice little things to work on the bigger picture, but take baby steps so you don’t get burnt out.
Here’s what that might look like:
- Week 1 – write for five minutes per day, every day.
I understand that five minutes isn’t a lot, but in the beginning it’s more of an exercise to put yourself on a consistent schedule. You can use that five minutes wisely by writing down ideas for essays, poems, short stories, novels, or screenplays you want to write. Just write down everything that comes to mind. Do that day one. The next day, write the pros and cons of idea 1, and cycle through each idea in the days that follow. By the end of the week you should have a good idea about what story idea you most want to write about.
- Week 2 – write for ten minutes per day, every day.
Still doesn’t sound like a lot, does it? By the end of the week you will have written for over an hour. Do not feel guilty for not being able to write for at least an hour every day just yet. In ten minutes, you can work on an outline, a character sketch, or start a rough draft of a poem. Continue that work in the days that follow and you have some results you can be proud of by the end of the week.
- Week 3 – write for twenty minutes per day, every day.
By week three, you are learning how to focus your efforts on writing every day while also increasing the writing time you allow yourself. Each day you are able to accomplish something substantial that builds on the day before. By the end of the week, you’ve worked yourself up to writing over two hours that entire week.
- Week 4 – write for thirty minutes per day, every day.
We aren’t increasing our writing time drastically, but by the end of the week you will have accumulated over three hours of writing time. That hasn’t always been an easy task for you, so you should feel like you are moving mountains now.
- Week 5 – write for an entire hour per day, every day.
Woah, this is a big jump! By the fifth week, you’ve both built up your writing stamina and your ability to find small chunks of time to write. Please keep in mind that the hour doesn’t have to be all in one sitting. If it helps you to write in between working, cooking dinner, and spending time with your family, do that. As moms and as writers, we have to find creative ways to balance our time throughout the day. Our family life should never suffer for our dreams. As an alternative, you can also get up an hour earlier in order to find a quiet place to write before everyone wakes up. Getting up earlier and getting that task out of the way is also a great way to relieve the stress of wondering when you will find the time to write. At the end of week 5, you will have written for a total of seven hours! Wow, that’s a lot! I recommend celebrating with a nice long nap when you can work it in, because your hard work the past five weeks has paid off!
In the weeks that follow, you can decide if the hour a day is working out for your life. Is it too much time? If so, dial it back to thirty minutes. If it’s not enough, try working your way up to two hours a day if you’re working on a long-term project. Whatever you decide feels the most comfortable, do that. This five week run, among the other things it’s given you, has shown you what life is like on each schedule. Go with the one that makes you the happiest.